When Amy Leeworthy was eight-years-old she made her first magnum opus: a man-sized bust of Ramesses II, the great Egyptian Pharaoh, out of clay. ‘In grade three, Egypt was so in!’ she explains. She would attend an after school pottery class in her hometown of Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. ‘I was the only student under 60,’ she recalls.
After school, Amy went on to study art and history, while always keeping busy making things. It wasn’t until last year, when her partner surprised her with a pottery wheel, that she properly reignited her passion for ceramics. ‘The wheel turned out to be the perfect present for this stage in my life,’ says Amy. ‘It gave me a much-needed creative outlet as a new Mum.’
Over the past twelve months, Amy has devoted herself to the wheel. She has trained herself to become a potter, and a good one too. Her works are wheel thrown pieces inspired by the shapes and silhouettes of the 1970s, with a palette referencing Australia’s burnt, rich landscape. ‘It’s the red and ochre soil, pink salt lakes, eucalyptus trees, the ocean, sand’ she says.
Working out of her home studio in Ivanhoe, Amy describes her practice as largely intuitive, preferring to let the clay guide her next move. ‘I tend to go for the more unrefined clay bodies that hold a strong memory of the earth from which they came’ she says. The rich red clay that is consistent through much of her work is a nod to her hometown of Red Hill, which was named after its red clay. ‘One day I want to have a go at digging and processing my own clay, and create a body of work specific to my hometown’ she says.
Amy is presently working on an upcoming collaboration with her good friend Poppy Lane of Pop & Scott, while getting ready for the birth of her second child due later in the year. ‘I’m sure baby number two is sure to change my practice again in unexpected ways!’